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|Subject: Earl Warrick, originator of commercial silicone|
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Date Posted: November 21, 2002 8:10:33 EDT
Earl Warrick, one of the originators of commercial silicone and a former chief researcher for Dow Corning, died Nov. 15 in Loma Linda, Calif. He was 91.
Warrick, whose career at Dow spanned 33 years, is best known for inventing silicone rubber, also known as bouncing putty or an early form of Silly Putty. He obtained patents for the material.
He also published a number of articles on polymer chemistry and silicone research and authored a book about the history of Dow Corning in 1990.
Warrick began his career at Mellon Institute of Industrial Research, where he and Dr. Rob Roy McGregor began independent studies in organosilicon chemistry in 1936.
He joined the newly formed Dow in 1943.
He and McGregor were trying to create a compound in the 1940s to replace rubber, which was scarce during the war. They failed but kept some of the result around to amuse their friends. Years later, a marketer decided it would make a good toy.
A scientist from General Electric Co. had a later patent on a similar material, and eventually was credited with Silly Putty's origin.
Upon his 1976 retirement from Dow, Warrick was awarded the Goodyear Medal by the American Chemical Society for his discovery and development of silicone rubber.
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